SNK Taxation Division understands that Tax Investigations can be very stressful and time consuming.
Our Tax Investigations Team aims to provide you with specialist advice to minimise the stress and anxiety that a HMRC investigation may cause. We endeavour to resolve the tax investigation in the most efficient and cost effective manner whilst minimising your tax exposure wherever possible.
SNK Taxation Division only provides Tax Investigation services. We are therefore able to keep up to date with the latest changes in the enquiry legislation and the current tactics adopted by Tax Inspectors to tackle tax evasion and tax fraud.
At SNK Taxation Division we specialise in the whole range of tax investigations from voluntary disclosures and those conducted at local compliance level right through to cases of serious tax fraud and tax evasion under HMRC's Code of Practice 9 (COP9) - Contractual Disclosure Facility conducted by HMRC's Specialist Investigations team. We also provide VAT Inspection advice and specialise in VAT Fraud cases.
We operate on the basis that all clients receive the highest levels of professional representation, service, courtesy and value for money. If you are subject to a tax investigation by HMRC, please give us a call today on 02920 487667 to discuss how we can assist you.
TAX AVOIDANCE INVESTIGATIONS
If HMRC suspects that there has been a “serious” loss of tax but they do not suspect that this arises as a result of tax fraud then they will open the tax investigation under Code of Practice 8 (COP8). In most cases these enquiries will be into the tax affairs of taxpayers who have participated in a tax avoidance scheme or taxpayers who have implemented a tax avoidance structure. Cases under Code of Practice 8 are carried out by HMRC’s Specialist Investigations teams.
If a tax avoidance scheme has been marketed, for example by a tax adviser, there can be a large number of individuals who have used the same scheme. In these circumstances HMRC will often only carry out a detailed tax investigation into a sample of the taxpayers involved, but apply the results to all the taxpayers using the avoidance scheme.
Tax avoidance schemes and structures are used by taxpayer to minimise their tax exposure in a way which they consider to be perfectly legal, though it can rely on a particular interpretation of the relevant tax legislation. These schemes and structures often use loopholes in the tax legislation or offshore structures.
HMRC APPROACHES IN CODE OF PRACTICE 8 CASES
HMRC open tax investigations into these schemes or structures using two approaches.
One of these approaches is to disagree with the interpretation of the tax legislation that has been adopted and on which the success of the scheme depends. A challenge of this type will involve a detailed technical argument on the correct interpretation of tax legislation. If one of the parties involved cannot persuade the other that their own interpretation is correct then the case will be decided by the independent Tax Tribunal set up to arbitrate tax disputes.
Alternatively, HMRC can challenge the way that the scheme has been implemented. Many schemes involve several steps which have to be carried out in precisely the way planned in order for the scheme to successfully avoid tax as intended. HMRC will examine each of the steps in detail, checking that there is evidence of correct implementation before they will accept that the scheme has worked. Any minor departure from the intended implementation procedure will be exploited with a view to defeating the planning.
In most cases under Code of Practice 8, HMRC will challenge the scheme or structure on both of the above grounds at the same time.
At SNK Associates we have the experience and resources to assist both individuals and companies in all types of UK tax investigations.
These can include tax investigations into tax evasions or tax fraud, PAYE & Benefits, civil investigation of fraud (also known as Code of Practice 9) and VAT investigations.
We can also help with voluntary disclosures and tax amnesty arising from HMRC’s New Disclsosure Opportunity (NDO).
As forensic accountants we have the skills and knowledge to help you handle your case in the most appropriate way – and to assist in all negotiations with HMRC. It is important to always have the right professional advice before entering into discussions with HMRC.
We have helped many individuals and companies to reach an acceptable settlement with HMRC.